Sunday, May 23, 2010

Mission Leader: Why So Few Christians in Japan?

Interesting article about the lack of penetration of Christianity into Japanese society:

By Michelle A. Vu|Christian Post Reporter

The quality of missionaries or the methodologies used is not the problem when it comes evangelizing. But it is the Japanese mentality itself that is hindering more people from coming to Christ, said a mission leader last week at a global conference in Tokyo.

Japanese people value human relationships more than truth and principle, said Dr. Minoru Okuyama, director of the Missionary Training Center in Japan, during his presentation at the Tokyo 2010 Global Missions Consultations.

“Because they are afraid of disturbing human relationships of their families or neighborhood even though they know that Christianity is the best,” said Okuyama, who previously was Buddhist and a Shintoist. “Thus, Japanese make much of human relationships more than the truth. Consequently we can say that as for Japanese, one of the most important things is harmony; in Japanese ‘Wa.’”

He added, “[T]hose who harm the harmony are bad, whether they are right or not has been beside the question.”

Less than one percent of Japan’s population is Christian even though the religion was brought to the country over 150 years ago.

Okuyama noted that Christianity is thriving in neighboring China and Korea because the mentality of the people is to “make more of truth or principle than human relationships.”

Full article here

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